School district spokeswoman Myla Grasso said the program plans to be open by mid-June, but timing would depend on obtaining state licensing, a process said to be backlogged by three months.
The Tri-Valley YMCA program used to lease the property, but notified parents in the program Nov. 19 that the last student day would be Dec. 21. The YMCA said it accumulated a $250,000 deficit over five years due to the high cost of infant/toddler care.
The intended purpose of the facility was to provide a service for district staff. Superintendent John Casey said that from the beginning, that idea never materialized. It was reported that only 12 of 44 kids enrolled had parents working in the district. LeeAnn Pomplum, the district's coordinator of purchasing, said that number dropped to seven in October.
In looking to replace the child care program, the district advertised a proposal request. The district received three proposals to occupy the facility, with the top two choices being Adventure Time and Lakeview Montessori.
The district then formed a committee--made up of district staff and parents--to evaluate the proposals and licensing files, as well as visit the top two sites.
District documents show that Adventure Time has 31 licensed school sites, and has 23 years of experience, while Lakeview had one site. Additionally, the committee found there to be no safety or supervision complaints with the Adventure Time program, but Lakeview had not had an evaluation since being licensed.
Adventure Time's enrollment costs consist of a $50 application fee and one and a half month's tuition. Tuition ranges from $585 to $1,190 per month, depending on age and how many days a week the child attends.
The program's owner, Neil Teller, said scholarships are available and that they would look into school board clerk Chris Grant's request for offering discounts to parents working in the district.
Teller said, according to state standards, that Adventure Time would likely need to install a shade structure and the capacity for children could be increased if there was more outdoor space available. One of the main differences between the previous and current child care programs is infant care. YMCA offered care for as young as 6 months old, which Pomplum said is the hardest age group to serve due to the need for additional staffing and care.
The teacher-to-student ratio at Adventure Time is 1:4 for ages 18 to 36 months and 1:8 for 36 months to 5 years old. The center's hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pomplum said the committee was impressed by the longevity of the staff employed in the program and the extensive training manual that is used.
For more information about Adventure Time, visit www.adventure-time.com.